ICE chief calls out UK govt. over Brexit snub

The ICE chief said the UK government has taken its presence in London for granted.

Jeff Sprecher, CEO and chairman of Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), has criticised the UK government for failing to take an interest in its global exchange and clearing house business, as Brexit procedures continue to shape out. 

Speaking at the FIA IDX conference in London, Sprecher noted how the US, French and German governments have shown an interest in its business, however the UK has not shown the same. 

“Oddly no one in the government here [UK] has suggested they care about where clearing is or where derivatives trade,” Sprecher told delegates. 

He went on to say that the UK government had “taken our presence for granted,” and even suggested when CME Europe announced it would shut down, no one at the UK government contacted CME management about it, calling it “the canary in the coal mine”. 

With many exchanges planning their Brexit procedures, as well as planning for a post-MiFID II trading environment, Sprecher said that the UK government is fragmenting the markets even more. 

“In my world we have to unbundle our services through these access provisions [of MiFID II], which are basically a government fragmentation of markets, at the moment in time where the government is fragmenting the market [through Brexit],” Sprecher added. 

Ed Tilly, chairman and CEO of the CBOE, meanwhile said that their plans in Europe had not changed following the group’s acquisition of Bats. “For Brexit, it is no doubt we see it as an opportunity to branch out…. But we are committed to stay in London,” said Tilly.